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Author:Stavins, Joanna 

Did the Target data breach change consumer assessments of payment card security?

Previous research has found that perceptions of payment security affect consumers? use of payment instruments. We test whether the Target data breach in 2013 was associated with a change in consumers? perceptions of the security of credit cards and debit cards and with subsequent changes in consumers? use of payment cards. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), we find that, controlling for possible confounding effects of demographic differences between the two groups, ratings by consumers who assessed the security of personal information of debit cards shortly after ...
Research Data Report , Paper 16-1

Journal Article
Credit card borrowing, delinquency, and personal bankruptcy

Credit card delinquencies and personal bankruptcy rates increased during the mid 1990s, despite the strength of the U.S. economy. Even though per capita income rose during that period, household borrowing grew at an even faster pace. The rise in revolving debt-mainly credit card loans-was especially noticeable, and the increase in personal bankruptcy rates was also substantial. This article examines the relationship between consumer credit card borrowing, delinquency rates, and personal bankruptcies. The author looks at developments involving borrowers, the demand side, and lenders, the ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jul , Pages 15-30

Journal Article
Can demand elasticities explain sticky credit card rates?

Sticky interest rates on credit card plans have long been a mystery. One possible explanation is that banks maintain high rates because consumers' demand for credit card loans is inelastic. This study tests and rejects that hypothesis. Demand for credit card loans is found to be elastic with respect to interest rates charged, and the amount of delinquent loans is found to increase significantly more than total credit card loans when interest rates drop.> The results show that banks face an adverse selection problem: Lowering the annual percentage rate of interest (APR) would attract risky ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jul , Pages 43-54

Discussion Paper
Effects of credit scores on consumer payment choice

This paper investigates the effects of credit scores on consumer payment behavior, especially on debit and credit card use. Anecdotally, a negative relationship between debit card use and credit score has been reported; however, it is not clear whether that relationship is related to other factors, such as education or income, or whether it is a mere correlation. We use a new consumer survey dataset to examine whether this negative relationship holds after controlling for various consumer characteristics, including demographic and financial characteristics, consumers' perceptions toward ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 12-1

Working Paper
Faster Payments : Market Structure and Policy Considerations

The U.S. payments industry is in the process of developing ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solutions for making a broad variety of business and personal payments. How this market for faster payments will evolve will be shaped by a range of economic forces, such as economies of scale and scope, network effects, switching costs, and product differentiation. Emerging technologies could alter these forces and lead to new organizational arrangements or market structures that are different from those in legacy payment markets to date. In light of this uncertainty, this paper examines three ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-100

Journal Article
A comparison of social costs and benefits of paper check presentment and ECP with truncation

Each year, about 60 billion checks are collected in the United States. While the shares of electronic payments methods such as the automated clearing house and credit and debit cards have been growing in recent years, the volume of checks has grown by more in absolute numbers during the last 20 years than all electronic payments methods combined. Partly because of their convenience, checks remain an extremely popular way to carry out transactions. Since it seems that checks will be around for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to try to improve the process of their collection.> This ...
New England Economic Review , Issue Jul , Pages 27-44

Working Paper
Distributional Effects of Payment Card Pricing and Merchant Cost Pass-through in the United States and Canada

Using data from the United States and Canada, we quantify consumers’ net pecuniary cost of using cash, credit cards, and debit cards for purchases across income cohorts. The net cost includes fees paid to financial institutions, rewards received from credit or debit card issuers, and the merchant cost of accepting payments that is passed on to consumers as higher retail prices. Even though credit cards are more expensive for merchants to accept compared with other payment methods, merchants typically do not differentiate prices at checkout, but instead pass through their costs to all ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-13

Working Paper
Merchant steering of consumer payment choice: evidence from a 2012 Diary survey

This paper seeks to discover whether U.S. merchants are using their recently granted freedom to offer price discounts and other incentives to steer customers to pay with methods that are less costly to merchants. Using evidence of merchant steering based on the 2012 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, we find that only a very small fraction of transactions received a cash or debit card discount, and even fewer were subjected to a credit card surcharge. Transactions at gasoline stations were more likely to receive either cash discounts or credit card surcharges than transactions in other ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-1

Discussion Paper
Security of retail payments: the new strategic objective

The Federal Reserve Financial Services Strategic Plan for 2012?2016 specifies five main policy goals for the next few years. The second of its goals is to "Maintain public confidence in the end-to-end safety and security of clearing and settlement systems." Indeed, in each annual Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), respondents consistently rank security as the most important characteristic of payment methods. However, in regressions of consumer payment use, security is not as significant as other payment attributes, such as cost, convenience, or record keeping. We analyze that puzzle ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 13-9

The 2015 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice: summary results

The 2015 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) was implemented using a new longitudinal panel, the Understanding America Study (UAS), and results are not yet comparable to the 2008?2014 SCPC. In 2015, U.S. consumers made 68.9 payments per month. Debit cards remained the most popular payment instrument among U.S. consumers in 2015, accounting for 32.5 percent of their monthly payments, followed by cash (27.1 percent) and credit or charge cards (21.3 percent). For nonbills, consumers used cash and debit equally?about one-third of the time for each. For bills, consumers used payment cards for ...
Research Data Report , Paper 17-3


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